On Chanting the Name of SRI RAM

  • By Dr. Subhasis Chattopadhyay
  • January 1, 2024
  • Know about the importance of chanting the name of Sri Ram.


शुद्धब्रह्मपरात्पर राम II

 कालात्मकपरमेश्वर राम् II


Ram Naam sankirtan or, the Nama Ramayanam is sung throughout India by both householders and monks --- by those who are followers of Advaita Vedanta to those who are followers of Ramanuja’s Vaishnavism. For example, the Advaita Vedantin monks of the Ramakrishna Mission chant this on Ram Navami. 


From the first two lines of this 108 lines’ chant we get to know that Lord Rama is better than the best among Avataras and is both Brahman and kala i.e. has become time. Naturally, we are to take refuge in Him for he is Brahman who is of the nature of purity. Brahman is free from attributes and thus free, from time. A function of Brahman is time.


Therefore, we should surrender ourselves to Sri Ram as both Brahman and kala. We must realise like Kak Bhushundiji that Shiva is Rama and Rama is Shiva. Further, Rama means to be still. Sri Ram who had to constantly move from one place to another in His life and fight battles invites us to be detached and still even in the midst of war. This is why He is prayed to throughout the world. He is our Dharma. Not an embodiment of our Dharma.


If one’s research leads to the conclusion that there is no God, like it does for many; then one’s research conclusions are plain wrong. It led John Dominic Crossan to conclude in learned seminars that Jesus Christ simply did not exist --- Crossan’s research seemed fine, but the conclusions were wrong. And I am not a Christian at all. But through Faith in my Dharma, I know Christ as a Yogi.


Similarly, through shraddha, I know that the world is an embodiment of Sri Rama --- and I am a follower of the Holy Mother of the billions of bubbling Universes (in the plural). As I wrote in Prabuddha Bharata long ago if Christ and God abandon a person, they start the Historical Jesus seminars; so too I know that when Sri Rama leaves a person then they write about the Ramayana as being an epic. When so called stalwarts write that there are too many Ramayanas with too many differences in them for Lord Rama to be real they have not bothered to study enough before arriving at their conclusion. If one is a respectful student of other Faiths like Christianity one knows about the internal differences between the synoptic Gospels. Nor does the fact that the Turin Shroud’s being a hoax nullify the existence of Christ. 


Therefore, naturally those who declare that Lord Rama is a symbol or metaphor are incorrect --- they simply have not bothered to apply the scientific method to the study of the various Ramayanas. This is too bulky a discussion to have here; this article is in praise of Sri Rama. 


Let us return to his Lotus Feet --- indeed He is Lord Vishnu. It is a take it or leave it situation --- either you share our Faith, or you do not. If you do not, then no point in arguments since you perhaps do not care for the differences between theology and philosophy. We do not have myths. We have eternal truths. Kak Bhushundiji mentioned above is not a myth as Mother Mary’s Immaculate Conception is not a myth. If you believe either or both to be myths; we hope you have a better life in your next birth. If you do not believe in Sri Ram, do not lose hope. Wait for a few lifetimes and in between you will know the eternal Truth. 


You will be surprised to know that to proceed in the path of Tantra, one has to first recite the name of Lord Rama over and over again to protect oneself from evil forces which one inevitably encounters in the actual practice of Tantra. After all, as the editor of this site pointed out to this author, Neem Karoli Baba, one of the greatest servants of Lord Rama in the last century was a Tantric too. My own Gurudeva is a Vaishnav who happens to have become a living Sri Yantra.


Without the practice of the presence of Rama in the heart and stilling it; there can be no spiritual progress.


Dasyu Ratnakar became fit for Sri Rama only when he started chanting His Holy name. There is no difference between Lord Rama and Sri Govinda, and we need to think why Gadadhar Chattopadhyay, a Tantric and an Advaita Vedantin, came to be known as Sri Ramakrishna. No wonder then that Adi Shankaracharya composed the "Bhaja Govindam". When we repeat the names Govinda and Sri Ramakrishna, we are repeating the name of Sri Ram. No wonder that Sant Tulsidas chanted the name of Lord Rama from childhood --- and if he had to chant Lord Rama’s name, then who are we not to chant? In our times --- it is the Kali Yuga though one does not understand why one cannot accept the anthropocene being a part of the Kali Yuga --- it is best to chant His holy name. And where there is Lord Rama, so too there is Lord Hanuman --- it is not I who am declaring this. 


Swami Brahmanandaji, saw Lord Hanuman when monks at Odisha were singing the Rama Nama. By the way, Lord Hanuman is not a monkey-god as the angel Gabriel is not a male fairy. Neither is Swami Brahmananda ji, the spiritual son of Sri Ramakrishna, a myth to be structurally scrutinised --- all I can advise is to learn the difference between theology and philosophy first before pooh poohing religious truths. Faith cannot come knocking just by reading fat tomes which lead nowhere. To understand the reality of Lord Rama one needs to be as devoted as Lord Hanuman and only then perchance your eyes will be opened if not in this life, then in lives to come. Eschatology is a branch of studies you ken! 


If you want to begin your journey towards sanctity, then pray to Lord Ram; if you want a happy and peaceful life for your kids then make them read the Ramayana over and over and as you as a family progresses in your spiritual lives; begin reading the Adhyatma Ramayana: then alone will you know the Truth.


Harih Om. Tatsat


Also read

1. Adhyatma Ramayan marries Bhakti with Advaita Vedanta

2. What is the concept of God in Christianity and Sanatana Dharma

3. What is Immaculate Conception

4. Many versions of the Ramayana

5. A sacred journey to meet Pandit Ramashraya Tripathi Ji, a present-day disciple in the lineage of Goswami Tulsi Das

6. Ramayana in Southeast Asia – A cultural bridge


To read all articles by author


Author Subhasis Chattopadhyay   has a Ph.D. in Patristics and the Problem of Evil in American Horror Literature from the University of Calcutta. His reviews from 2010 to 2021 in PrabuddhaBharata have been showcased by Ivy League Presses. He has qualifications in Christian Theology and Hindu Studies and currently teaches English Literature in the PG and UG Department of a College affiliated to the University of Calcutta. He also has qualifications in Behavioural Sciences.


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